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Posts tagged ‘humor’

Review: The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial PacificThe Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are books that make people on the train do a double-take when they catch a glimpse of the cover. “The Sex Lives of Cannibals” is one of those books. I felt like wearing a sign that said “no, it is not actually about the sex lives of cannibals.”   This provocatively named book is actually a travel memoir of sorts by a 20-something man who moves to the south Pacific island of Kiribati.  Troost and his wife move to the island for 2 years. Troost struggles to adapt to life on the island.  With a strong dose of dry wit and sarcasm, he writes of his tribulations with everything from the extreme temperature, the strange customs of the locals and the lack of everyday comforts he was used to from his life before he moved to the island.

What he thought would be an island paradise ends up being a place where the locals defecate in the ocean. Sounds like a perfect tropical beach destination, right??

I think the one topic in this book that made me never want to live on Kiribati was the descriptions of what the average diet on the island was like…not very appealing…  like on Hawaii, the islanders find Spam to be a delicacy.  Also, one would think that being on an island the residents would have a diet full of fresh seafood…not so much.  One other island delicacy is dog.  (for more on eating dogs, see the book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. 😉 )

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Review: When Did I Get Like This?

When Did I Get Like This?When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read a few of these “mommy memoirs” since I’ve had my baby. “When Did I Get Like This?: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be” by Amy Wilson is told from the perspective of a NYC mother of three.  This book of short essays was a quick read and was honest and mildly humorous without being bitter. I could relate to many of the vignettes in the book as I’ve had some similar experiences with my 8 month old son. At the core, the essays all have the theme of expectations vs. reality of motherhood. There are all these books and recommendations out there of the best way to have and raise a child…and Wilson ponders what kind of mother she is if she can’t follow all of those recommendations.  I often find myself in a similar dilemna…am I reading to my child enough? am I taking him to enough activities?  Oh, the challenges of being a modern mom.

I recommend this book to moms of pre-schoolers and infants. Almost all moms will find something to related to in “When Did I Get Like This?”

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Reads: Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Island of the Sequined Love Nun Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore

rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I believe that Island of the Sequined Love Nun is the sixth or seventh book that I’ve read by Christopher Moore. Moore’s novels are always packed with sardonic humor that makes me silently snicker. Island of the Sequined Love Nun was originally published over 10 years ago. The book was still as crazy as some of his more recent works.

This absurd adventure follows Tucker Case, a geek in a stud-muffin’s body, who starts out the novel as a pilot for a cosmetics company. One night, he picks up a woman at a bar who says she wants to join the mile high club immediately. So, Tucker, even being slightly drunk, takes her up in his boss’s private jet. Drinking, flying, and sex don’t mix and Tuck ends up crashing the plane and impaling his special man-place. OUCH!  He gets fired and ridiculed in the media.

Out of nowhere, Tuck is offered a job as piloting a private Lear Jet for a Methodist mission on a remote island in Micronesia. It sounds too good to be true, but Tuck has no other options so decides to take the job. And so his wacky adventure begins…an adventure that includes a talking fruit bat, cannibals, a trans-gendered prostitute and some natives worshipping the image of a woman painted on a plane (cargo cult!).

I read this book as I jetted off to a tropical island. It was total brain candy. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite Moore book (an honor that is held by  Lamb), but it was a good beach read.  It took a little while for me to get into it, but it got better a little further into the book.  It was a fast-paced, quick-witted, easy read.   I recommend Island of the Sequined Love Nun to anyone looking for a crazy getaway to a tropical island.

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Reads: Then We Came to the End

Then We Came to the End Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I read “Then We Came to the End” for a book club meeting that I have next week. I m still not 100% sure that I can make it to the meeting, but I read the book all the same.

“Then We came to the End” is Ferris’s first novel and is set at the turn of the 21st century at a Chicago advertising agency that is struggling through the dot-com failure era. The workers at the office are being laid off one at a time with very little rhyme or reason as to who gets the ax when.

Layoffs were upon us. They had been rumored for months, but now it was official. If you were lucky, you could sue. if you were black, aged, female, Catholic, Jewish, gay, obese, or physically handicapped, at least you had grounds.

Ferris narrates the book from a 1st person plural point of view, which is different from other books I have read. The book is laced with disaffected humor as we are allowed to observe the copywriters and designers partake in their office hi-jinx and suffer from paranoia that they will be the next layoff. The workers spend much of their time trying to look busy or hanging out at the coffee bar gossiping. The book for the most part is set in the office so, if you’ve ever worked in corporate America and sat in a cube, you should be able to find something in this tale that you relate too.

Overall, I enjoyed the book although I think it could have been stronger. There were a lot of characters and most of them weren’t very deeply drawn so you don’t really “get to know” any of the individuals too well.

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Reads: Stuff White People Like

Stuff White People Like Stuff White People Like by Christian Lander

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
How could I resist a title like THAT!?!? and I found it on the Buy One Get One table no less…Irresistable!

“Stuff White People Like” is based on the blog by the same name. It is written as a sort of item by item guide of, well, stuff that white people like. It is written as if the audience is someone other than a white person and tells them how to befriend, date, and/or impress a white person.

The book will sometimes differentiate between the right kind of white person (wears real vintage T-shirts) and the wrong kind of white person (wears faux vintage T-shirts).

The book had me cracking up throughout. It is funny, because its true. Christian Lander does a great job providing a humorously cynical look at the habits and preferences of upper middle class white Americans. I saw myself in a lot of the write-ups.

This is one of those rare books that my husband (not a white person) wants to read! I think mayhaps he wants to read it to pick up some tips on how to impress all those white people he meets on a daily basis through his job. 😉

Best Snack to eat while reading this book: Sushi and organic, locally grown fruit… washed down with some Fair Trade coffee.

Best Music to Listen to while reading this book:your iPod play list of Arcade Fire, The Pixies, A Tribe Called Quest, Joanna Newsom and Belle & Sebastian.

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